What Lifts You Up?

He said, “Mom, why do you think I’m outta sorts today?”

I said, “Maybe you’re wishing we had snow. Maybe this is the pre-dad visit funk. Maybe you need to eat something. Or, maybe it’s just one of those days.”

And because the hot water of the shower has a way of warming my skull and opening my brain to the current of ideas that passes in and around this house, I came out of the bathroom with an inspired thought.


Imaginary Hot Air Balloons

I saw fine gold cord tied to hot air balloons. Each balloon carried an idea, personality trait or thing. The cords were also tied to our belts – think comfortable steampunk, if there be such a thing. A leather pouch containing an ornate pair of silver scissors was attached to the belt with a grommet.

We had complete authority to snip and tie to our belts whatever balloons we chose.

Some balloons tugged at their gold ropes in an effort to sail off to the horizon.

Some balloons never left the ground.

Tying an assortment of balloons to our belt could lift us up off the ground and take us in a new direction.

Tying a different combination to our belt might leave us right where we were – in a funk, if that’s where we happened to be.

We held our scissors at the ready and walked around peeking inside each basket.

Will snipped the golden cords from baskets containing the words:

bad dreams
no plans
brussels sprouts


He tightly tied the cords to the baskets containing the words:

you guys
Mexican Salad

Jenny took her scissors to the baskets containing:

baby voice
mean people

She quickly tied the cords associated with:

tiny eensy weensy things

I couldn’t cut the cord to gossip fast enough, all the while hating that it was ever tied to my belt to begin with.  I hacked at jealousy and sliced through resentment

I stepped up to the basket containing the word forgiveness and tied it to my belt with a big loopy, double-knotted bow.

Next was kindness, followed by compassion, gratitude and patience.

I spied a basket containing coffee, red wine, wasabi almonds and fuzzy socks.  This basket was tailor-made for me.  I attached it to my belt with duct tape.

I created a basket for Will with the words curiosity tenacity and tenderness.  He already possesses those characteristics, but I want to make sure he doesn’t lose them.  I tied this basket to the back of his belt so that, in another few years, he doesn’t accidentally snip the cord in a rush to follow the basket with the cute girl inside.

I handpicked the words independent, wise and creative for Jen’s basket and tied it to the back of her belt.  That way she can’t hastily snip the cord when someone comes along and teases her for being her own unique self and not following the pack.

We all tied on to another basket containing chocolate milk, barbecue sauce, good books and Nina.

I made sure we were all tied to the baskets full of love and laughter.

We held hands, and I said, “Hang on!”

We felt a rush of warm air as our feet lifted off the ground.   Nina was oblivious to the take-off.  She curled up in the bottom of her basket and napped during the ride.

We’re heading off to a new place – even if it’s only in our minds.

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  1. What lifts me up and sends warm radiating spirals all over me is… this post. Thank you.

  2. What a delightful mental picture. You should take showers more often ;o) .

  3. Thanks, Elizabeth. ;)

  4. Pat,

    I know… I come up with fun ideas, and I get a little break from my two favorite people. ;)

  5. I love this so much! What an amazing trip that would be. I have to share this with my two younger ones.

  6. Very creative! Love it :) Great ideas for the kiddos, too. No wonder you chose to home school.

  7. Kate,

    I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. Let’s hop in our balloons and meet somewhere.

  8. Jenn,

    Thanks. ;)

    We’re lucky we get to do this home school gig.

  9. It’s a good thing I don’t homeschool my kids…I don’t know if I can compete with this! What a fun read and food for thought. Thanks!

  10. Z,

    pssst…. It’s not a competition. ;)

  11. Ok, I should have said that I wish I was as creative as you. That is what I meant. No sparring here… ;)

  12. Z,

    I know…

    Not to get sappy on you but I must: I wake every day planning on doing my best, just as you do. My best is different from your best – no less or no more.

    I don’t have a competitive bone in my body – never did. I despise the way it seems that women (moms) end up (not even intentionally, but sometimes so) competing with each other. Who breastfeeds and who doesn’t / who stays home and who doesn’t / who enrolls their kids in the best schools and who doesn’t and on and on and on.

    We all have different strengths and we all do our best when we play to our own strengths.

    I’m on a tangent, sorry.

    *steps down off of soap box to make dinner*

    No sparring here. Ever!!! ;)

  13. This is such fun and beautiful imagery. What a wonderful way to process the things you like and do not like.

  14. Lynn… and all the rest of you…

    What would you add?

    Or what would you NOT tie on to?

  15. Just say when and where! xx

  16. Let me think . . . unexpected winks from the Universe lift me up like a card in the mail, a visit from a friend, a random hug from my kids, a snow day–if we EVER get one this year, a hand slipped in mine, music that gives me hope, a morning without deadlines, a hot cup of coffee just the right roast, and the knowledge that I am never alone in this journey of mine.

    I have no patience for mean people–manipulative and cruel people are not welcome in my life. I find I put up with a lot less of that sort of thing–which is a good thing for me!

    Thank you for being here!

    Warm wishes to Jen, Will, and you : ).

  17. Lynn,

    Oh, you chose splendid balloons!

    It’s a weird winter for us, too. Where did all the snow go?

  18. I am Aries, but tend to compete with myself…unless it is a game (even though I am good at letting others win) :) I too hate that competition about life. Your life belongs to you, mine belongs to me. Good for you, good for me.

    That reminds me of “being a pounder”. We are all worth a pound. No less, no more. I like it that way. xoxo

  19. Z,

    Thanks for the reminder about “being a pounder”. I remember when you shared that. It’s a classic that ought to be up on my cupboard.

    love ya ;)

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